Disgraced former WWE boss Vince McMahon has been largely scrubbed from WWE 2K24

First reported by VGC, former WWE boss Vince McMahon’s likeness has been mostly removed from WWE 2K24. McMahon recently stepped down from his position of executive chairman of the WWE following a lawsuit by a former employee alleging sex trafficking and abuse by McMahon and others at the company.

McMahon, who operated as both the real life CEO of WWE the company and as a character within its storylines, saw numerous high-profile allegations of sexual impropriety over the years. McMahon stepped away from the company after being investigated for a $3 million hush money payment in 2022, while the WSJ (readers may encounter a paywall) further reported that year that McMahon had paid $12 million to four women over a span of years to cover up further allegations of sexual misconduct.

After returning to the company in 2023 to oversee a merger with the UFC, McMahon left the company once again this January after a former employee, Janel Grant, filed a lawsuit alleging appalling sexual abuse at the hands of McMahon, including being used as a bargaining chip in contract negotiations with star wrestlers. Though not named in the suit, wrestler and UFC fighter Brock Lesnar’s involvement was subsequently inferred and reported on. The WWE reportedly canceled Lesnar’s planned appearance at the upcoming Wrestlemania 40 in response, but he has also been added back on to the promotion’s active roster after a temporary removal.

Both McMahon and Lesnar are largely absent from the game⁠—in contrast with previous entries where they were playable characters⁠—with the exception of its 40 Years of Wrestlemania Showcase mode, a “greatest hits” selection of matches from the titular event, with archival footage accompanying in game recreations of those fights. Lesnar remains playable in the recreation of his Wrestlemania 30 match with the Undertaker. While McMahon shows up as an in-engine NPC for one fight, his face is blurred out of archival footage related to another.

The blurring out almost calls more attention to McMahon than anything else⁠. Though a similar technique is used on referees and other on screen individuals developer Visual Concepts did not have likeness rights to, none are quite as center stage as McMahon. At the same time, this scandal came to a head at the end of development of 2K24, with the developer likely having few options for handling the new personae non gratae, and the move aligns with the WWE’s strategy of quietly distancing itself from McMahon, even as questions remain as to the extent of his abuse, and who at the company knew about it.

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